Et tu? When your friends don't seem to have grasped the knub of what you have spent several decades explaining so lucidly, it can make you weep. We empathised thus with Fred Harrison last week at the IU Conference in London. He referred to a speaker at the conference on another day who had, according to Fred, used a wrong methodology to assess the value of the rent of land.
But whilst such friends in the same cause are obviously a disappointment to him Fred regaled us with some of the content of his book 2010 The Inquest: see the review. This deals with his second major prediction of the land/property 18 year price cycle which peaked in 2007. He warned political leaders of this 10 years before: Mandelson, Darling, Campbell. J M Keynes remark in 1925: 'there is no land problem any more' as you can imagine does not go down well with FH and it makes JMK's views part of the problem. Harrison cannot understand the 'disconnect' with the truth about land. He said government has betrayed those it is supposed to be looking after. He likened the scenario to the treason that King Charles was charged with. He sees the failure in terms of politics and not of economics. He sees land value as a cash measure of the failure of governance. There is a failure of monetary policy. He does not particularly blame bankers and 'greed' - the rules allow them to behave as they do. He sees the issue as a breakdown or morality and intellect and wondered why the system is not being called to account by the churches, or by intellectuals and academics?
He judged our system as not being fit to cope with with the results of a 200 year trend. Land policy has failed and academics put the body of knowledge about it 'out of reach'. For some reason economics relating to land does not 'stick in the mind' - (even JMK's mind?). Fred believes that when even friends seem unable to grasp land economic fundamentals, the next generation starts 40 years back. (As though Fred H had not been around enlightening us with his amazing books? Can this really be so?).
In response to questions, he said that despite his own failure to affect changes in the UK in the 1980s, in Russia in the 1990s, or in the UK again in the 2000s, he dropped a hint of some scheme he has embarked upon recently that will take about 5 years to come to fruition. He gave the audience reason to hope that the world will continue to be enlightened - if it wishes to be - by one of the pre-eminent advocates for economic justice of this generation.
NB: More to follow later on the IU Conference exchanges between Harrison/Werner/audience.
Posted by Charles Bazlinton. Revised 8 May.
Author: The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom
see web cartoon